Ford posts 2Q profit; factory output better than expected

DETROIT (AP) — Sky-high sales prices for its pickup trucks and SUVs helped Ford Motor Co. turn a surprise second-quarter profit despite a global shortage of computer chips that cut production.

The Dearborn, Michigan, company said Wednesday that it made $561 million from April through June, largely because output from its factories was better than the company had expected.

The automaker warned earlier in the year that it would be hit especially hard by the chip shortage and a fire at Japanese supplier Renesas that manufactures many of its automotive-grade chips.

The company said that it earned 13 cents per share excluding one-time items. That was far better than Wall Street expectations of a 3-cent-per-share loss, according to FactSet.

Revenue was $26.8 billion, also above analysts’ forecasts of just over $23 billion.

Ford raised its guidance for full-year pretax income by about $3.5 billion to between $9 billion and $10 billion. But it cautioned that higher commodity prices and capital investments would offset sales volume expected to rise by about 30% in the second half over the first half of this year.

Orders are up for the electric Mustang Mach-E SUV and the new Bronco SUV, making Ford’s business “spring loaded” for a rebound when chip supplies stabilize, CEO Jim Farley said in a statement.

During the latest quarter, sales in the U.S., Ford’s most profitable market, rose nearly 10% over last year’s pandemic-ravaged quarter. But the company lost more than a quarter of its U.S. market share, which fell to 10.6%, according to Edmunds.com.

Still, Ford’s average U.S, vehicle sales price, led by the F-Series pickup, rose 6.3% to $47,961 for the quarter, bringing the company badly needed revenue.

Ford had predicted in April that the chip shortage would cut its second-quarter production 50%, or by 1.1 million vehicles worldwide, causing a quarterly loss.

Its stock was up about 2.8% in extended trading following the release of the earnings report after the close of Wall Street’s regular session Wednesday.